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Flower power! I have the best job in the world says Catherine as her floral creations go global

Catherine Nix, Owner, Dorset Dried Flowers: “I absolutely love what I do." Picture: DorsetBizNews.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: March 28, 2023 | Updated: 29th March 2023

Catherine Nix believes she has the best job in the world, bar none.

From her Corfe Castle studio, her dried flower creations are despatched across the world.

Catherine, a mother of four, said: “I absolutely love what I do.

“I tell people I have the best job in the world.

“Who wouldn’t love waking up every day to create beautiful objects that give people such joy – and joy for such a long time.

“I love fresh flowers but they die within a week or two whereas my dried florals will go on for at least a couple of years.

“When someone buys one I know the longevity of joy they will get from that product.”

A trained nurse, Catherine previously worked at Poole General Hospital, and was also a District Nurse in Swanage.

She then moved into network marketing, building up a highly successful business for a UK-based greetings card company.

In 2016, Catherine started what was to become My Scented Home, now rebranded to Dorset Dried Flowers, by making Christmas decorations out of dried fruit.

She said: “I’ve always been really crafty and I’d always loved dried flowers.

“That Christmas I used cinnamon, dried oranges, chillis and limes to make decorations, selling them at market stalls, school fetes and the like.

“It went really well and led to dried flowers.

“I’m totally self-taught – I call it faffing with flowers.

“Basically it involved buying a load of flowers and practising.

“I used YouTube videos sometimes to get some of the mechanics but mostly it was hours and hours of faffing and creating, finding what works and what doesn’t work.

“It was slow to build up but in business you have to find your niche and your tribe.

“I did find my small tribe of people that liked my designs and then Covid hit.

“I remember thinking: ‘That’s my business done for’ but actually it just took off more than I could ever have imagined.

“I didn’t look up from this workbench for two years.

“My business actually grew by 1,000 per cent.

“It was crazy.

“Not only were people at home but we had a resurgence in the popularity of dried flowers.

“It was partly because so many of the florists couldn’t get deliveries of fresh flowers, so they were out promoting dried flowers, and I was already in that space.

“I was ahead of everybody. I had the designs and my business just sky rocketed.

“I was working around the clock.

“On our biggest day I shipped 90 orders out of Corfe Castle Post Office. Three drop-offs of 30 orders.”

Today Catherine’s dried flower products are exported across the globe, from America to India and Singapore.

Apart from offering ready-made and bespoke creations through her website’s eCommerce store, Catherine also does a thriving trade in monthly face to face workshops – both in Corfe Castle and Wimborne.

An increasing amount of business also comes from the hospitality sector and weddings.

Catherine, who marries her partner, farmer Jonathan Ramm, in September, said: “Hospitality is growing and I’m looking to expand that side of things.

“It’s so cost-effective as I can come in and transform a venue.

“The display doesn’t go off or deteriorate and we can change seasonally.

“It’s giving their customers something different to look at.

“I can do a large-scale installation 6 ft high and 10 ft across in about four or five hours.”

Flowers are sourced from a variety of places.

She said: “I grow some and then dry them or buy fresh and dry.

“I work seasonally so in October, for example, I’ll go out into the forest and pick the ferns and the brackens.

“I also buy in dried flowers as well because of the volumes I need.

“We have big wood burners at home and our house is so bone dry.

“We have flowers everywhere, hanging off all the curtain poles.”

Last month Catherine won the Green/Eco category at the inaugural Purbeck Business Awards, pictured.

She said: “I was so thrilled because it’s that recognition of all the hard work that you don’t get a lot of the time.

“When  you work on your own you don’t have a boss who says: ‘That was good work today’.

“To get the recognition for the green eco award was particularly special because I do work really hard.

“I’m a country girl, I like natural products and that’s why I work with dried flowers.

“I’m very aware of the environmental impact of what I’m doing.

“I want to share that with others whether it’s making a base out of birch twigs, that you can forage for, down to my packing.

“It might not look the prettiest sometimes when I reuse a box but most of my customers are on the same wavelength as myself.

“Lots of florists can do what I do but not many can say ’I’m your dried flower installation specialist’.

“I aim to be the person that people think of locally and nationally.”

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